Southport man sentenced in fake tax return case

Reported by Scott Saxton email

RALEIGH, NC (WECT) - A man from Southport faces 106 months in a federal prison after being sentenced in a tax fraud scheme involving the filing of false individual tax returns.

Robert Leonard Coombs, 47 years old, was sentenced Tuesday in Raleigh.  Coombs also has to pay more than $1.6 million in restitution.

Five others were sentenced previously in this case, including Timothy Daniel Trott, 24 from Southport, Charles Lewis Critzer, 63 of Waynesborough, Lewis Shelton, 48 from Southport, Tami Shelton, 49 from Southport and 28-year-old Timothy Desfonds from Winnabow.

The U.S. Attorney stated that from 2003 to 2005, Coombs filed about 500 false income tax returns claiming more than $3 million in refunds.  The statements had false statements concerning the payment of federal gas taxes and false occupations.

Prosecutors say on more than one occasion, the used identifying information was actually stolen and used without the victim's knowledge.

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